Schneider: Truck ergonomics provide bottom-line results

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Schneider National says its safety and loss prevention team had a significant impact on the company’s bottom-line improvement in 2005, helping to reduce workers’ compensation costs by more than nine percent. The improvement was gained through initiatives that addressed both accidents and the risk of injury.

The injury reduction strategy utilized Atlas Ergonomics’ transportation system, which is designed to eliminate the stress and discomforts of driving, reduce in-cab injuries, reduce back injuries outside of the cab and lessen fatigue. Within six months of implementation, the percentage of drivers reporting discomfort dropped by more than 47 percent, Schneider says.

According to Schneider, these improvements were accomplished without changes to the cabs, because Atlas is designed to help drivers use the ergonomic adjustments already available to them more effectively. The Atlas system then measures remaining discomfort, identifies specific drivers who require special attention and recommends appropriate actions.

“At Schneider, ‘Safety First and Always’ is our primary core value,” says Don Osterberg, vice president of safety and driver training for Green Bay, Wis.-based Schneider. “We moved forward with the Atlas system to keep our drivers more safe and comfortable. The Atlas Seat Marking System provides an opportunity for our drivers to use the full value of their seat, whereby drivers feel better, perform better and are less fatigued. We knew we had succeeded when we saw 114 fewer lost-time injuries. At the start of the program, our objective was simply to help our drivers, and the financial impact was less clear. Now after six months, we are confident that we have seen a favorable return on our investment.”